Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association (LPPOA)?
A: The LPPOA is a private lake association that maintains the lake, beaches, Clubhouse and other common property for the benefit of the Lake Parsippany community.
Q: What is a Property Easement?
A: The Court found Lake Parsippany is a common interest community and that each of the 2200 property owners had been granted rights to the use of the common properties, including the lake, by virtue of an easement in their chain of title to their property, and by the fact that their lots are depicted on a map filed with Morris County at the time of the original development of the community.
Q: What is the Assessment?
A: The basic premise is that with the benefit of having certain deeded rights, you need to help with the burden of maintenance. The concept is often referred to as “Fair Share”. Basically, every home within the original purchase tract of Lake Parsippany will be required to pay annual dues and assessments. The annual dues for full membership allows the property owners and their families full privileges in the community. However, if you would like to waive certain privileges, you may pay a basic membership fee only. The Court reviewed this provision and determined that having a basic membership option available for those who wish to waive certain privileges was reasonable.
Q: Who determines what fee I must pay?
A: You do-each property owner has the option to waive certain rights and pay a basic membership fee only.
Q: What is the Original Purchase Tract?
A: The map of Lake Parsippany was approved by the Township and filed with the Morris County Clerk at the time of the original development of the community, in eight sections, between 1933 and 1935. The properties included on that map are referred to as the original purchase tract.
Q: Why is the LPPOA doing this now?
A: The LPPOA must comply with State regulations related to lakes and dams. The LPPOA also pays for taxes, insurance, lake water quality management and dam inspections, which became increasingly difficult on voluntary payments. Because of these obligations, multiple courts in New Jersey have affirmed the rights of a private lake association to assess all properties in their community, even when membership was previously voluntary. After reviewing the status of the law, in 2017, LPPOA imposed a mandatory assessment of all residents of the community as a basic maintenance fee.
Q: Can the LPPOA do this?
A: Yes, according to the Court. A group of property owners (Plaintiffs) filed a lawsuit against LPPOA in opposition to the mandatory fee, and the entire community was later joined in a class action suit. The Plaintiffs argued that LPPOA did not have the authority to assess them, and the community, if it ever existed, had been abandoned long ago. The Court found not only did LPPOA have the authority to impose a mandatory assessment, but that it had administered the assessment fairly.
Q: Who is affected?
A: All properties that fall within the original purchase tract of Lake Parsippany are members of LPPOA, as a result of the litigation. While all property owners are members of LPPOA, the Court specifically ruled that LPPOA can allow full membership and basic membership.
Q: What is the cost of membership?
A: Please visit our Membership Page for details.
Q: Will I receive an invoice?
A: Invoices for 2020 will go out shortly after the new year. For those of you who have paid the assessment each year, the invoice will include dues for 2020 only. If your property is not current on any dues from 2017 to 2019, the amount outstanding will be included in the 2020 invoice (at the basic rate of $115 per property). Details regarding payment will be included in the invoice.
Q: What if I own multiple properties within the original purchase tract?
A: Each property that is owned as a separate lot will be assessed separately. The owner is responsible for each property’s assessment but may negotiate payment with a tenant if so desired.
Q: What happens if membership fees are not paid?
A: Membership dues and assessments are mandatory. As the litigation was recently settled, all property owners will be given until 3/31/20 to bring their account current, including any prior assessments that were not paid. Owners who do not pay will be considered “not in good standing” under LPPOA’s By-Laws and the law affecting common interest communities. In order to make sure that the assessments that are being paid are not used on attorney’s fees to pursue delinquent accounts, LPPOA has established a collection policy that will make the delinquent assessment, late payment charges and costs of collections, including attorney’s fees, the responsibility of the delinquent owner. Accounts that are not current will be assessed with late fees, then turned over to our attorney for collections proceedings.
Q: What is a member in good standing?
A: Members in good standing are defined as members who have paid membership dues, assessments, fines, late payment charges, collection costs and are in compliance with all By-Laws, Rules, Regulations and Policies of LPPOA. Exceptions are made in certain circumstances, in compliance with statues and regulations governing common interest communities.
Q: If LPPOA is unable to open the lake and its activities this year, will there be a refund?
A: While we are still hoping to open the lake, LPPOA will of course follow all state and local regulations and orders during the coronavirus emergency. As you can see from the budget, a large part of the costs are fixed, such as taxes, insurance, administration, etc. We may also incur additional costs this year in order to secure LPPOA property, address legal issues, and compliance with emergency orders. In the event our year-end financials reflect a net gain because of the shut down of facilities, that gain can be considered for dues and assessments for 2021 forward.
Q: How do I join a Club?
A. LPPOA offers many opportunities for those who want to join a Club. Please see the website for a description of each Club, when they meet, and contact information.
Q: Where can I get a copy of the bylaws?
A: the bylaws can be found on the website under the “About” section of the website.
Q: Where can I get a copy of the Rules and regulations.
A: The Rules and Regulations can be found on the website under the ”About” section of the website.
Q: When are budget meetings?
A: All information about the budget process and budget meetings can be found in the Bylaws. Art. II, Ch. 3. Meetings are also noticed on the calendar on the website.
Q: How is the board elected and how long is each term?
A: All information about the Board elections can be found in the Bylaws. Art. IV.
Q: Recently the board voted to increase the budget by 25K each for the attorney and the Bookkeepers. Why are you going to increase my fees?
A: We are not being billed 25k each for their service. We needed to increase those 2 budget line items for these unplanned extra services. We are hopeful that we do not need to spend it. One of the reasons for the additional fees we are being billed for is when members or their attorneys contact these places looking for invoices and answers to questions. They charge for this service. The Board is trying to manage these expenses by having all questions addressed through the Board first. We encourage everyone to use the contact link on the website as this is free. There may be times however that we do need to reach out for assistance from them but this is rare.
Q: Where can I get a copy of the 2020 budget?
A: The budget is posted in the November 2019 News and Views, voted on in December of 2019, and also posted in the April 2020 News and Views.
Q: Is the LPPOA accepting membership from non-property owners?
A: Non Property owners residing within the original purchase tract (Rental properties) may join as full members with certain restrictions. Visit the membership page on our website for more details.
Q: With the ongoing COVID-19 issue can the LPPOA extend the late payment due date?
A: The Board of Trustees has extended the late payment due date to July 31, 2020.
Q: I have not received my boat tags or badges yet. Can I still use the property?
A: Membership badges and boat tags will be mailed out in the coming weeks. You are welcome to use the property as usual.
Q: I did not own the property in 2017, why am I responsible to pay this?
A: All properties are required to pay for 2017. The owner of the property was served with a class action suit in 2017, and should have noticed any buyer of the pending lawsuit. You will need to discuss this with your attorney and title company as this should have been disclosed at time of closing.
Q: What is the Board doing to keep membership fees from increasing?
A: The membership voted on a fee of $115 in 2017 which resulted in a lawsuit filed against LPPOA that lasted nearly 4 years. The Court’s judgment affirmed the LPPOA’s right to assess fees for 2017 and beyond. After hearing considerable feedback from the community, the Board voted to waive 2018 and 2019. There was no increase in the $115 fee from 2017 so the fee has not increased in 4 years. The decision of the Board to waive 2018 and 2019 meant the budget had to be reconsidered with respect to long-term planning and reserves for the community. The Board understands that the community would like to see the funds go to property maintenance, lake quality management and other areas that will enhance the community for the members, and that is the Board’s goal as well. The Board would also like to see the fees stay at the current level. But expenses continue to increase. And with a constant threat by some in the community with another lawsuit, the Board needs to plan for additional legal expenses. It is also uncertain what percentage of the members will pay in full this year, so as we have stated, we don’t expect LPPOA’s budget to fully stabilize for 3-5 years. Whether the fees will increase depends on many variables and will be evaluated each year during the budget process.
Q: why isn’t there only one membership fee. Why is it a 2 tier system?